DEP: West Nile Virus Spreads in MontCo, 10 Communities Affected

Positive mosquito samples have been found from Lower Merion to Pottstown. No human cases have been found.

Mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus have now been found in 10 Montgomery County communities, as the virus heads into its prime time of the year, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Four cases of West Nile Virus-positive mosquitoes have been found in Lower Merion Township, as Patch reported earlier this month. and the last . The DEP scheduled a to kill the adult mosquito population in the affected area. 

No human cases have been found to date.

The DEP said Monday that WNV-positive mosquito samples have now been found in Cheltenham, Plymouth and Upper Moreland townships, following positive findings in Abington, Conshohocken, Lower Merion, Montgomery, Pottstown, Springfield and Whitemarsh earlier this month.

"Montgomery County had a pretty high concentration of positives in early to mid-July," said DEP spokeswoman Amanda Witman. "As we progress through the summer, we're getting to the point where the propensity of the virus will begin to accelerate."

Witman said that out of the 211 mosquitos tested prior to Monday in Montgomery County, 15 produced positive results for West Nile. Lower Merion had the highest number, with four positive results, Springfield and Abington three, and the rest one, Witman said.

In addition, Witman says that Montgomery County has a history of problems with West Nile. The DEP provides grants to about 25 counties in the state to test and control mosquito populations, and Montgomery County's $137,000 grant is among the largest.

"[The county's] grant is on the higher end, and we recognize that the county does have a historical problem with West Nile," Witman said.

The funds are typically distributed to varying conservation districts and municipalities to carry out sprayings.

Witman said that there have been 402 positive samples statewide in Pennsylvania since May 3, and that the state began testing mosquitos about six weeks earlier than usual this year. However, there have been no human cases to this point, Witman said.

There have also been no positive samples of avian flu yet found in Montgomery County.


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Victoria clarendon richter August 17, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Im concerned about the township dump water retention basin on centennial rd near intersection of flat rock and mary watersford rds becoming a breeding ground for west nile virus mosquitos.


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